Saturday, June 22, 2019

Cuatro Islas, which means four islands is a group of 4 beautiful islands in Leyte. Digyo, Apid and Mahaba are part of Inopacan while Himokilan Island is part of Hindang, Leyte. These group of islands is now an emerging tourist destination of Leyte. Aside from its crystal clear water and white sand beaches, Cuatro Islas is also known, for island hopping, snorkeling and beach camping.

Many of the tourist frequent Digyo and Mahaba. Apid and Himokilan are less visited as it is inhabited by locals.

Overnight Beach Camping in Mahaba Island, Cuatro Islas, Leyte

Digyo Island is more popular for visitors and beach campers, but since we wanted a more peaceful overnight stay we chose to stay in Mahaba Island.

There were a number of people when we got there but at night there were just 2 or 3 groups that stayed.  We immediately set up our camp and prepared our lunch.  A couple of my friends went snorkeling and they were able to spot sea turtles.

Sunset in Mahaba Island
There is a small store in the island owned by the caretaker where you can buy some food and drinks. We bought a couple of beer there.

Electricity is available for a fee. However, we weren't able to avail this since the extension wire they can provide us is not long enough to reach our camp. If you are a freelancer like me, taking your work in the island is not ideal. Aside from the lack of electricity, internet data connection is also really slow. Just don't forget to bring enough powerbank for your phone.

There is a shanty comfort room in the island but it closes at around 5:30PM. So do your  thing before the night comes.

How to go to Mahaba Island, Cuatro Islas, Leyte

From Tacloban, take a van going to Inopacan or Maasin and drop off in Inopacan. The fare is 170php and may take 3 hours, or if you are from ormoc, the fare is only 95php and may take 1 hour and 45 minutes.

The port and the tourism office is just at the back of the municipal hall. You need to register at the office and then you will be assigned a boat. The boat cost 3000 for a small boat for 10 while 4000 for a boat that is good for 20.

An environmental fee of 100php each will be collected by the DENR in Himokilan Island. You will get to drop by Himokilan Island, before you can go to Mahaba.

Himokilan Island, Cuatro Islas
Himokilan Island's sandbar

Thursday, April 18, 2019

After a day of swimming at Cancua-ay Private Beach Resort, we decided to have a quick visit to the famous heritage site in Oslob, the Cuartel.

Cuartel is a Spanish word that means military barracks. This unfinished coral stone structure was built in 1960 to serve as military barracks for the Spanish armies. However, the construction had to stop as the Spanish regime ended. This building was never finished.

Historical Site

The Cuartel is situated at the end of the oldest street of Oslob, Calle Aragones. Calle Aragones was built in 1879 and was named after the first Oslob parish priest, Fr. Jose Aragones. Beside it is the Church of the Immaculate Conception. This coral stone church was built in 1830, was finished 18 years later and has withstood through time. Outside of the church, along the coastline is the ruins of the Baluarte, one of the 7 watchtowers built along the coastline of Oslob. You can also find Museo Oslob beside Cuartel. Admission to the museum is free but picture taking is not allowed.

How to get to the Cuartel of Oslob

The cuartel can easily be located. We took a bus from Cancua-ay to Oslob proper and got off at the corner of Aragones St and N. Bacalso Ave. It's just 1 block away from the 7-11 convenience store.  Then, we just walked 2 blocks away until we found the old coral stone structure. Click here to know how to get to Oslob.

If you have more time, I suggest you explore the area and not just the Cuartel. This location here has a lot to offer. It will bring you back to the Spanish era.

Monday, April 15, 2019

My friends and I were just video calling at midnight when we suddenly agreed to go to Oslob. So I slept for about an hr after the call, woke up at 2:45am, hastily packed my bag then head on to Cebu South Bus terminal to meet my friends Jomvi and Eking.

We went to Oslob Public Market upon arriving in Oslob and bought food to bring to the beach. We bought, a kilo of lechon for P450.00 and a kilo of Mangoes for P120.00. We also bought some cooked rice from the carenderia and water and softdrinks from 7-11. We headed to Cancuaay Beach Resort when we had everything we needed.

Cancuaay Beach Resort is a family-owned resort in Tanawan, Oslob. It boasts its blue, clear water beach and rock formations. The resort is also affordable and the staff which are just family members, are also very accommodating.

We arrived at the resort at around 7:30 in the morning. Although cottages are free, we were just assigned to a table since we were just a small group. We immediately set up our table, ate our breakfast and carried on with our trip.

Cancua-ay Beach Resort Rates

Entrance Fee and day use:
Adult - P120.00
Kids (10 y.o. and younger) - P50
Infants - Free

Overnight Stay

Tent - P450.00/pax but if you bring your own tent it will be P300.00/pax
Room - P2,500.00, good for 2, with free breakfast.

How to get to Cancua-ay Beach Resort from Cebu City.

From Cebu North Bus Terminal, take a bus going to Oslob. The fare is P200.00 (airconditioned bus). Travel time may take 3-4 hours. We left Cebu at around 4 AM and arrived in Oslob at around 7:30AM

Get off the bus near the Public Market so you can still buy food and other essentials.The Resort is far from downtown, so it's best to buy all the things you need first.

From the market, take a jeep going to Tanawan, Oslob. The fair is P10.00. Just tell the driver you are getting off at Cancua-ay Beach.

Other Information and tips:

You have to go through a long stairway from the road to the beach. Going done is easy but going back up is a different story. My friend and I had to stop half way up, to catch our breath.

The water is not calm. Contrary to how it may seem on social media, the water is wavy.

The sand isn't powdery so if you have a sensitive feet, you may need to wear your flipflops at all time.

There is no wifi but you can use your mobile data if you need to work or update your social media. Globe has 4G data coverage.

Contact: Villa Modern Deluxe to book a room.

Monday, March 25, 2019

To kick off the beach-and-summer-feels, of the dry season, we decided to go to Orongan Beach Resort in San Remigio, Cebu. Since I have a class on Saturdays, we decided to go on a Sunday and booked a room few days before our trip.
Entering Orongan Beach Resort

Orongan Beach Resort is a family owned resort, highly known for the beautiful, clear water, white sand beach, affordable rates and the beach camping experience. Many would set up tents during Saturay night. We arrived early Sunday morning, and the resort is packed with tents and campers. However, during the night it looked like we were the only ones that spent the night.

Enjoying the San Remigio sunset
The Information center of the resort also serves as their mini kitchen. We did not have any food when we arrived. We just bought a kilo and a half of pork and 1 kilo of rice on the resort and had them cooked for a fee.

We spent the day, exploring the shores of Anapog, San Remigio and swimming. The view of the sunset was also breathtaking. People even gathered to take photos of the sunset.

Orongan Beach Resort Rates:

  • Day Use (7AM - 6PM) - P50.00/pax
  • Extension Hour  - P10/pax
  • Overnight Fee - P100.00/pax

Tent Rental:

  • Small - P100.00
  • Medium - P200.00
  • Large - P300.00
  • XLarge - P400.00


Fan Room with Private CR - P2,000.00, good for 2
Fan Room with Common CR - P1500.00 good for 2

We booked the room with private CR. It's more of a beach cabin and with a mini fridge, water heater and mugs for your coffee. It has a full bed and a sofa bed. It also included 2 electric fan available for use. The CR is also spacious enough. This was good enough for the three of us.

How to Get to Orongan Beach Resort from Cebu City.

  • From Cebu North Bus Terminal, take a bus going to San Remigio and inform the bus conductor that you will get off at San Remigio Public Market. The fair is P163.00 for the Airconditioned bus (Ceres Liner)
  • From San Remigio Public Market - take a tricycle to Anapog. Just inform the driver you are going to Orongan Beach Resort. The driver asked P50.00 fair from the each of us.  

Other Tips:

  •  Buy food first from the Public Market before going to Orongan. The resort is far from the market and the trasportation is a bit of a challenge. If not, you will have to deal with the pricey food or what's available at the resort.
  • If you don't have your own car. Maybe you can ask the tricycle driver to fetch you at an agreed time. We did not do this and we checked out early in the morning as we wanted to catch the first bus going back to Cebu City. We had to walk for about an hr as we could not find a tricycle. 
  • If you have a car, there is a huge car park available in the resort
  • There is no WiFi in the resort, so if you are a freelancer, bring your own pocket wifi. We also noticed that although both Smart and Globe has 4G signal available in the area. Smart has better coverage.
  • Contact Orongan Beach Resort through their Facebook page to book a room and for more information about the resort.

Sunday, March 17, 2019

In the heart of Tacloban City is a resort hotel strategically located atop of a Hill with overlooking view of the San Juanico strait. It was originally conceived by the former first lady, Imelda Marcos. In the early 90s the resort was closed for restoration and innovation and was reopened in 1994. It has withstood several storms, including Yolanda, and Leyte Park Resort Hotel still more or less maintains its original glory.

Eating Snacks with  a View

Aside from the breakfast buffet, Leyte Park Resort Hotel also offers Merienda Buffet every afternoon. Anyone can go there, and enjoy a sumptous Filipino snack. The snack bar is full of native delicacies to feast on.

My view while enjoying some snacks
We went there on a Sunday afternoon to grab a snack as we didn't have anything better to do. We had to wait a few minutes for the buffet to open as we went there a little early. While waiting, I opened my laptop and did worked for a few minutes.

The buffet is open from 2- 6 PM. We were probably the first ones there. People started coming when the buffet was open.

For around 150 each we enjoyed scrumptious snack and a choice of drink. 
My plate of Merienda
When we were already full, we went down to the pool area, enjoyed the scenery and took some photos. 

We went home still full, we didn't have to eat dinner. 

Veranda Cafe (the hotel's buffet area) or Leyte Park Resort Hotel has free wifi. So if you are a freelancer you can work their too while enjoying your food. However there was no power outlet so you need to have a fully charged laptop.

Monday, March 11, 2019

Last week I logged in to my Upwork account and immediately noticed a banner notification of  a new Upwork feature. As part of Upwork's effort in keeping the platform secure and fraud-free they are adding a new identification badge for those who haved passed the 2 verification process. The first is through submitting a government-issued ID, which I have done years ago and the video verification call.

I finally got the chance to do this today.

How to get verified via the Upwork Video Verification proces?

The process is just pretty simple. I just clicked on the Get Started Link which opened the upwork support chat box. I waited for a short while for a support to be available to assist me. Then the support agent asked me to click on a link for the video call.

She then asked me a couple pretty basic profile questions. She asked me my name and my email. That's it. After a minute from the call, I got my Verified Badge.

upwork verified identification badge

I think they are currently prioritizing the top rated freelancers but I'm sure this will be rolled out to every one to avoid fraud.

* Make sure you have a working web cam. The important thing in this process is that they can see you.
* You may get asked other profile verification questions like your mailiing address.

Friday, March 8, 2019

Badian Wellness Resort is a world class resort hotel situated in  Zaragosa Island, Badian. It is known as an eco-friendly resort that offers perfect relaxation and beauty treatments. It's a perfect place to get away from stress and the City noise.

Badian is a small town just right next to Moalboal. After a day of snorkeling and fun in Moalboal, we took a tricycle that took us directly to the Badian Wellness Resort port. The resort-owned speedboat took us to the island.

Upon arriving, we were each greeted by a resort staff with plumeria lei and a hawaiian drink.

David Cinco, the manager, who also happened to be our classmate and friend (lucky us!) took us on a tour to the resort.

First we went to the swimming area.
to the swimming area
you can relax on this hammock or even send a quick email while on it

 Then, we went to their organic garden where they grow their own herbs and food ingredients. They would even teach guests on how they can grow their own garden.

David also showed us this plant that was planted by honeymooners. Yes, the resort lets honeymooners plant their own tree as symbol of their growing love.

 We also got to view their suites. They were all spacious and elegant. I love the native and wooden interior design adorned with shells and flowers. They were all soothing and romantic. All of them has their own roomy hammock to relax with your loved ones while stargazing or just enjoying the view. The Thalasso Pool Villa has it's own private pool with ionized seawater. You can take a relaxing dip while enjoying an awesome view of the Badian Bay.

private pool of Thalasso Pool Villa

 Lastly, David let us take a quick view of the spa.

We were so amazed with the beauty and serenity of the resort. It's just so unfortunate that I wasn't able to take a lot of photos since my phone fell into the sea in Moalboal and my camera's battery died. It was already getting dark and we had to leave. Highly recommend Badian Island Wellness Resort.

Click here for more info of Badian Wellness Resort.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

front view of our room in Basdaku Beach, Moalboal
Moalboal is a town in the south of Cebu. It is known for its recreational diving spots and white sand beaches as well as island hopping tours and snorkeling.

We arrived in the town at around 6PM. We had dinner in Mcdonalds and then went to the grocery to buy some essentials, food and drinks. We then took a tricycle that took us to the beach to find a decent place to stay.

When we were able to settle down. We went to the shore, laid a mat and started our first activity. Our friend Jessa introduced us to a drinking game, using a suit of playing cards. If you lose, you get to drink a shot of tequila. It was fun, but we were not able to finish the bottle. We were to excited to take a dip.

We went swimming under the moonlight and talked about our lives and got to know each other more. We eventually got tired and went back to our room. David, Jessa, and Joey continued playing cards while Suzette and I had to finish some work online.

Day 2.
On the next day, we woke up at around 6. The sun was already rising. We had Puto-maya and sikwati (rice cake and hot cocoa) for breakfast. Then, we got ready for Island hopping.

We took the same tricycle that we had the other night. The driver took us to the tourism office, for registration and orientation. It's a required step before going to the islands. It is important to know and understand where you are going and what are the things you can and cannot do. We then paid a fee for 100 php for each. This ordinance was implemented to protect the corals and the marine habitat.

Pescador island
Our first stop was Pescador Island. The name was derived from the Spanish term Pescador, which means fisherman. The Island is well known for its underwater garden, an abundance of marine life and coral reefs. It's a perfect spot for diving and snorkeling.

Sardine Run
We have learned from the orientation that the sardines by nature are only come out during the rainy season. However, in Moalboal, they are present whole year round. You can swim with the millions of fishes enjoy the Moalboal sardine run along Panagsama beach.

Turtle Point
The last stop was the turtle sanctuary of Moalboal. We got to enjoy the sea turtle watching and swimming with them.

It has been an awesome experience from all of us.

How to get to Moalboal:
1. Take a bus from from Cebu South Bus terminal going to Moalboal. The fare is around 150php and the ride may take around 3-4 hours.
2. When in Moalboal you can take a tricycle and tell the driver to drop you off to your hotel or resort. If you have not booked a room yet, you can also ask the driver to guide you where you can stay.

Booking an island hopping tour is also easy. Most resorts in Moalboal has their own boat or can contact other boat owners for the tour.

Where to stay
There are many available cottages and rooms along the shore. The room rates ranging from 500-5,000. Basdaku beach is perfect for barkada getaway, swimming and snorkeling while Panagsama beach is where divers prefer to stay.

  • Don't forget to protect your cellphone with waterproof cases and be careful with using a selfie stick on while on the boat. I had my phone on my selfie stick when I asked our island hopping guide to take a photo of us while swimming. He didn't know how to unlock my phone so he handed it to me. It slipped off and then fell to the water. Our guide immediately got it, but I was unable to revive my phone.
  • Don't forget to secure your slippers inside your room. Our friend forgot his and the next day, he lost them. We suspect that it float into the water as the tide went high during the night.
Those were lessons we learned, I hope you also learn from our mishaps.

The Author

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She is a self-supporting MBA Students while working as an online freelancer. She has been an online freelancer since 2010 and has maintained a 5 star-feedback and 100% Job Success Score. She blogs about the lifestyle of a freelancer and her passion for traveling. She is a Digital Nomad. Please see About Me page for more about her and the blog.



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